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Feb 11, 2010

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Robert Payne

The problem that I see is that TW has no incentive to improve service. AT&T U-Verse has not yet deployed. TW has shown zero interest in upgrading to the faster DOCSIS unless they have a direct competitor, such as Verizon FIOS in NYC.
By contrast, Comcast and Verizon have taken steps to upgrade their services in non-competitive areas. TW also seems to insist on tying increased speeds to download caps.

So Ed (and I assume Andrew Brod, you are also reading the comments) who should be lobbied/contacted? Love to see if any of our council or commisioners are reading this

Bubba

Who on council or commission actually understands the issue?

Roch101

I have sent the following to Mayor Bill Knight and Assistant City Manager Denise Turner:
==============

Dear Honorable Mayor Knight and Ms. Turner,

As Ed Cone notes on his blog today(1), Google has announced an initiative to "test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country." Google is soliciting Requests for Information from communities interested in being considered.

This is the kind of innovative new-industry initiative Greensboro should pursue with gusto. The deadline for applications is March 26, 2010. I respectfully request that the City of Greensboro assemble a team of qualified individuals from City staff and the community who can write and submit a Request for Information for Google. Obviously, time is of the essence. Anything I can do to assist in bringing this to speedy and efficient fruition would be my pleasure. You may contact me by email reply or at the phone number below.

(1) http://edcone.typepad.com/wordup/2010/02/goog-4-gso.html

Cordially,
Roch Smith, Jr.

John Tasker

Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if Mr. Young had a note about federal grants for community sponsored broadband enhancements on his desk this morning. At least one Councilman had Broadband Loops on his agenda as early as last month or before and as of yesterday has the information to pass on as to which Federal Dept. (www.ntia.doc.gov) administers the grants. High-speed Loops are one of the things the Feds are funding as part of the stimulus grants and thus far have funded 300 million out of a budget of 7 billion. Raleigh has one, we don't. We'll hope something happens.

Andrew Brod

The prospect of competitive ultra-high-speed broadband in Greensboro makes me feel much more, ahem, invigorated than even a Danica Patrick commercial.

The Google announcement says a community's nomination need not come from a city official. Perhaps the blogging community will take up the baton if the city doesn't follow through.

Roch101

That's true, Andy, but Google says they will be assessing, among other things, "local resources, weather conditions, approved construction methods and local regulatory issues." There are some wonky things in that list that city staff would be most qualified to explain.

Ed Cone

A collaborative campaign that involves local government and just plain folks would be seem to be the best option.

Who takes the lead, draws up the petition, acts as liaison, spokesperson, etc? Maybe some of the people who got involved in the TWC fight will step forward?

Jim Caserta

Google has a page where you can nominate your city...you can send info there.

http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi/public/options

Roch101

We do not need to go off half cocked on this one. One of the questions on the RFI is if the local government is willing to appoint a staff person as a liaison. They also ask some questions that require some technically detailed responses.

I do not doubt that there would be interest and enthusiasm from the community, but it looks like the best chance will be if the city commits and is a strong partner in the effort. I think a powwow with the City and all interested parties to answer the questions Ed asks would be an appropriate first step.

Andrew Brod

I agree that it'd be ideal if the city took the lead. So we'll see if they do.

Ed Cone

They work for us.

Let's not see if they take the lead, let's urge them (and help them) to do so.

bob

Greensboro has the area "looped " with towers for communications and video transmission so there must be a lot of coaxial cable in place..I think your interest is a great idea....

Jim Caserta

Google is talking fiber not coax, and they would probably be laying it themselves. Good use of the massive pile of cash they're sitting on.

Another huge move out of core business, I think Verizon should move into the payment business. With all the donations coming through text messages, what's to keep a gas station from accepting a text message authorization for payment. If what Visa is really offering is a payment network, their network pales in comparison to Verizon's. They've already got a robust billing system in place...

Ed Cone

Who's putting the team together, Sue, and who is on it?

Abner Doon

then there is the quid pro quo of channel thirteen deal TW gave the city and the city lobbyist who also happens to be TW's lobbyist

Jim Caserta

This is a huge development. I'm sure other locales besides GSO & W-S are chomping at the bit. I just realized why 1GBPs is important and why TW would feel truly threatened - google could provide full video service. The goo has a lot going for it, not the least that it attracts a lot of the best talent in tech. TW got burned by an on-the-decline marginally innovative tech company, so it must be a little scary to stare a behemoth with real innovation cred in the face.

Roch101

Yeah, Sue, what Ed asked. At this stage, it would behoove us to have a wide open organizing effort. A secret group out to hijack the effort early is a path to failure. (See downtown hotel.)

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